Diana Lake Trail & Pinnacle Meadows - July 2008 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2008, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Default Diana Lake Trail & Pinnacle Meadows - July 2008

Diana Lake Trail and Pinnacle Meadows trip report July 14th – July 18th, 2008

This is a bit of a long report but I thought it would be worthwhile as I don't think there has ever been a report on this trail.


We decided this year that it was time to visit Diana Lake and Pinnacle Meadows since we haven't been there for a number of years. Diana Lake is located in the Brisco Range of the Kootenay Mountains, north of Radium Hot Springs. It is a 743 km drive from Abbotsford to the Kindersley-Pinnacle FSR and then another 24 km drive on the FSR to the trailhead. There is a backpacker's campsite near Diana Lake as well as a couple cabins on a lease site owned by Brian's brother Donald. It was to the cabin (Diana Lake Lodge) that we were going to.

A couple turkeys sighted on the FSR.

As you drive up the FSR you will come to an aqua duct that has been in existence and well maintained since the early 1900's.


Arriving too late to head up the trail, we car camped for the night at the trailhead.


DAY 1:
In the morning we headed up the Diana Lake Recreation Trail which is maintained by both the B.C. Forest Service and Donald.


Right away you come to a washout followed by the foot bridge that crosses Pinnacle Creek.


The first part km or so of the trail is an old logging road. Watch for the orange flagging ribbon marking the trail proper, entering the forest on your right. The first couple of km's up the trail was uneventful – no signs of bear! Then you come to a new washout – it really is a chasm! This washout occurred about a week ago. It is about 30 feet across and 20 feet deep. The trail just disappears! To get around this you have to go down by the creek and cross the bottom of the washout and then find your way back up to the trail.


At this point in time we started to enjoy the wildflowers that are in bloom.


Finally you come to the approximate half way point, a nice spot to take a break near Pinnacle Creek.


After this you start up what is affectionately known as “The Big Bend”, an open meadow that takes you around Mt. Norman to Pinnacle Meadows. This area does not provide any shade and, of course, we hit it right at mid-day. As well, one needs to be alert in this area as it a favorite area of the local bears.


A few new signs have been installed to try to keep the outfitters and their horses away from the fragile area around Diana Lake and away from the cabin.


Finally we reached Diana Lake which still had some ice on it although it would be gone by the time we leave.


A short distance later we reached Diana Lake Lodge, Donald's retreat from the world, greeted by his dogs Fox and Salsa.


Our host Donald with Brian. (picture removed at Donald's request)

At the cabin we had all the luxuries that one could imagine, including a hot shower!


We ate like royalty that evening, relaxing in the meadow out the front door of the cabin.


DAY 2:
The next day we awoke to sunshine although it was a bit cool. We decided to hike up the ridge flanking The Judge, the predominant mountain overlooking Diana Lake.


We were joined by Fox and Salsa, Donald electing to relax at the cabin. To gain the ridge you need to head up Pinnacle Meadows to the headwaters of Pinnacle Creek, then to White Tail Pass. , 0100)


The ridge is a wonderful hike with views overlooking Diana Lake and the meadows below, Kootenay National Park to the east, the Columbia Valley to the south towards Radium and Invermere, and the Bugaboos and Jumbo Glacier to the West.


Zoom in of the cabin

It is possible to scramble up The Judge but we chose not to as we had the dogs with us.

We were sent back down the ridge as a thunderstorm was coming and this was a little too exposed for our liking.


Brian did find time to build a cairn as the dogs looked on.


Overlooking Diana Lake and Mt. Norman

Some wild flowers on the ridge

One tired doggy back at the cabin

Arrived back to a wonderfully tasty dinner

DAY3:
Today Donald headed out leaving the dogs with us. We never saw anyone else for the rest of our time there. We decided to <s>hike</s> bushwack into a small cirque with a glacial tarn below Mt. Norman that we had seen from The Judge the previous day and then up to the ridge on the right.


After a short bushwack we came to the small tarn and relaxed a bit with the dogs


Given it was still early we decided to head up to get a look at Diana Lake from the ridge above on the flank of Mt. Norman


The view up the valley
The Judge
The way out
Going down I had to have some butt sliding fun

After returning to the cabin <s>we</s> Brian decided it was time to do some work for Donald so Brian first cleaned up the fire pit and then did a bit of trail maintenance, repairing one bridge board and replacing the other board.


I supervised and snapped more pictures (gotta love digital!).


DAY 4:
Decided to head up to “Fossil Ridge”. This is a ridge gained by heading to Whitetail Pass, but rather than heading up The Judge you head up the other direction. Near the end of the ridge a person can find an abundance of seabed fossils including coral, shells, barnacles, and, if you're lucky enough, fish or fern imprints on the rocks.

At White Tail Pass we were rewarded with even better views of Kootenay National Park


Up on the ridge the views were amazing:
Columbia Valley
Jumbo Glacier
Mt Assinboine
Pinnacle Meadows

Searching for fossils

Fossils found:
Coral

Seashells

More wild flowers:

On the way back we came across a mama ptarmigan and her 4 babies.


That evening we were visited by 2 young bucks. At first we thought it was just one peeking in the cabin at us as we ate our supper but later on we saw it was 2, probably young brothers.

Later on we were treated to an awesome thunderstorm – the angels were bowling!

DAY 5:
After locking up the cabin we headed out in a thunderstorm with rain and pea-sized hail.
Brian and Salsa

On the way out I found these beauties:

We saw some fresh bear scat on the trail so we hurried down making as much noise as we could. It was hailing too hard at this point to stop and take a picture. Never did see a bear up at Diana Lake and Pinnacle Meadows.

On our drive home from the Kootenays, we came across this young bear outside of Rossland feeding on some road kill.



[u]A few stats:</u>
Trailhead elevation: 4836 ft.
Lunch spot near creek elevation: 5963 ft.
Top of The Big Bend: 6418 ft.
Cabin: 7098 ft.
Whitetail Pass: 7660 ft.
The Judge: 8981 ft.


One final shot [][}]

Cheers!

Cheers!


"Smile, it is the key that fits the lock to everybody's heart."
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2008, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
quote:
This has to be one of the best pics EVER on Clubtread! Boris's thread has been a bit slow lately.
(Hope the mosquitoes kept their distance.)

Looks like an awesome area to visit. How long was the drive?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 12:04 AM
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Hahahahaha...Classic BlueCruisin!

All that aside, it sure looks like a great place to hike. (No innuendos intended!)
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Moses
Hope the mosquitoes kept their distance.

How long was the drive?
No mosquitos, next to no bugs - truly amazing.

The drive was around 8 hours from Abbotsford.

Cheers!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 12:22 AM
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It is a long report, but a great one with plenty to enjoy to read and view. I especially think your flower photos are first class, beautiful, and wonderful to behold.

K
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 01:08 AM
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Wow Sue, what an amazing trip you had!! Thanks for posting something a little different.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 01:16 AM
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Wow... I am AMAZED how fun that cabin looks, I could live out there forever. (long as I had satellite broadband)

Amazing fossil pics, they were beautiful.

I REALLY Liked this pic:


Damn that is wild!

Sure looked like a great place to go!
A great place to take a girlfriend too



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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 01:16 AM
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Great pictures you guys, and I mean all of them! Love the bear shots, and the bare shots!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 07:53 AM
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That looks like a great adventure!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 08:06 AM
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What a fabulous holiday and a wonderful trip report to remember it by! You have some great photos in there and the flower macros are lovely. Your parting shot is the best of all ... I can't believe Brian actually did it!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 08:17 AM
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Great report and pics Sue. I love the first pic of the lake and the bear shot with the kill. Excellent photos overall. Looks like a super area, and I am glad you made it up there (as you had planned).
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 09:17 AM
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It's just lovely up there ! What a great area []

Anyone want ot buy/lease it []:
http://www.landquest.com/detailmain3...=kootenayslist
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Spunky


Anyone want ot buy/lease it []:
http://www.landquest.com/detailmain3...=kootenayslist
Yup, Donald has the place up for sale. That's why we decided to head up there this year. It may be the last time in the cabin. He used to rent it out (with a host preparing meals, etc.) but don't know who may buy it. I'm guessing it may be an outfitter provided the new avalanche chasm can some how be fixed/bridged. Here's Donald's website for Diana Lake Lodge: http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mn...cle/index.html

Cheers!
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by trillium

Your parting shot is the best of all ... I can't believe Brian actually did it!
Actually, it was his idea to boot! See, I'm actually corrupted by Brian.

Cheers!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 11:48 AM
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Nice report on a pretty obscure area. You folks sure managed to keep busy during your visit!
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